Dr. Tony Roark is a professor of philosophy at Boise State University. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Washington and conducts research in ancient Greek philosophy. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Roark co-chaired the Core Reform Task Force, whose charge was to examine Boise State’s general education curriculum and issue recommendations for reform. The recommendations of the Task Force led to the implementation of Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program.
There is a growing consensus that universities in the U.S. must adapt their fundamental approach to education in order to preserve the nation’s status as a world leader in discovery and creativity. In this podcast, Dr. Roark examines the current and future state of general education curricula in light of the medieval origins of the university and the evolving structures of human knowledge. He argues that the dramatic growth of human knowledge and increasing intellectual specialization witnessed in the 20th century provide unprecedented opportunities to confront shared challenges, but they also introduce new challenges of their own. Roark claims that, in order to meet their public charge, universities must integrate specialized training with a broad array of multi-disciplinary experiences for students and support for developing non-cognitive competencies.